Fire the programmer (was: Re: Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian)

Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Thu Apr 28 19:24:54 CEST 2016

As a one-liner, yea, it's exciting and points the finger at the application.

But that's being in a car wreck and blaming the other driver (or yourself).  Neither of you are going to get to work on time.

Some customers have the ability to just dump the app or fix the program, but many, probably very important, &/or vocal ones, aren't going to have that luxury.

This may not be as bad as a Y2K bug, but it's also a completely avoidable one.


-----Original Message-----
From: Luc Pardon [mailto:lucp at] 
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2016 2:47 AM
To: Peter Constable <petercon at>; Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at>; Doug Ewell <doug at>; ietf-languages <ietf-languages at>
Subject: Re: Fire the programmer (was: Re: Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian)

On 28-04-16 03:08, Peter Constable wrote:
> A "fire the programmer / QA engineer / etc." remark might be
appropriate in some specific situations, but as a generalization seems not at all to take real world situations into consideration.

   Of course not. But as a one-liner, it helps drive home the point that, if an application breaks when we introduce a 5-letter subtag, the blame is with the application.

   In fact, I was afraid that my comment might lead some to say "See, we can't do 5-letter subtags, there are jobs at stake". You and Shawn have shown that it's not bad as that...


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